The government will open a single payment gateway for e-governance services in 11 states by March, 2012, which will facilitate collection of fees for licences and other chargeable services over the internet.
“We are done with proof of concept with Maharashtra and are ready with standard guidelines to replicate the whole process throughout the country. NSDL has been selected for this service,” Department of Information Technology Additional Secretary Shankar Aggarwal informed.
He added that around 20 services, including those provided by both the central and state governments, will be linked to the payment platform in the next two to three months, enabling citizens to make online payments and doing away with the need to visit government offices.
“The idea (behind the common platform) is to ease the selection of technology vendors for states, reduce the processes and costs involved in it. We expect 11 states to connect their services with this platform by March, 2012,” Aggarwal said.
Aggarwal did not elaborate on all the states where the facility will be available, but said Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Goa will be among the early adopters of this platform. “We are at various levels of discussion with other states and have seen willingness in most of them,” Aggarwal said.
The technology provider for this platform, National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), will be paid on the basis of each transaction made. Assuring NSDL that a minimum of one crore transactions will take place every year through this platform, the government has signed a revenue gap funding agreement with it.
Under the agreement, if the number of transactions in a year are less than a crore, the government will compensate NSDL for the lower volumes on the basis of the commission promised. However, if the number of transactions through the platform touch the one crore-mark, the government will not have to pay any amount to NSDL. “This count will not include failed or incomplete transactions,” Aggarwal added.